Warning over rise in number of deliberate fires in Hartlepool

Endeavour House, headquarters of Cleveland Fire Brigade.
Endeavour House, headquarters of Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Hartlepool has seen an increase in the number of deliberate fires and accidental house fires compared to last year according to new statistics.

Figures from the Cleveland Fire Authority’s Audit and Governance Committee compared the number of incidents across the area from April to October with the same period last year.

In Hartlepool there has been 368 deliberate fires during that time, a rise of 14%, or 46 incidents.

Fire bosses warned about the increase in deliberate fires in Cleveland and urged they would aim to clamp down on the number of incidents.

Tim Graham, head of risk and performance, said: “In total 83% of all primary and secondary fires across Cleveland are classed as deliberate, which is quite stark.

“We place a great emphasis on the circumstances in people’s own homes and the most important thing is keeping people safe.”

Cleveland Fire Authority said across the area there has been a 14% reduction in the number of deliberate primary fires, which are blazes involving properties or vehicles.

However there has been a 12% increase in the number of deliberate secondary fires, which are those involving the burning of rubbish, grass and derelict properties.

Figures shown to the committee said that nationally for every million homes there is 386 deliberate primary fires, compared to 710 for every million in the Cleveland Fire brigade area.

Meanwhile nationally there is an average of 1,065 deliberate secondary fires per million homes, compared to 4,551 in Cleveland.

Fire bosses also said they are working with police and continuing visiting schools to help educate children on safety.

There has also been an increase in the number of accidental house fires in Hartlepool from 12 to 16.

This is despite the fact across the whole Cleveland area there was a 24% decrease in the number of accidental house fires during the same period, from 86 to 65.

Fire bosses said they would continue to work to improve this figure and achieve a reduction in Hartlepool.

Steve Johnson, area manager, protection and prevention, said: “These figures endorse the support we receive from residents in our fire safety prevention work in helping make Cleveland one of the safest places to live.

“You are 49% less likely to have a fire in the home if you live in Cleveland than anywhere else in England. That is an achievement we should all be proud of.

“We are committed to driving these figures down even further and look forward to the continued support of the Cleveland community and our partner organisations.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service